Hampton Inn & Suites gets pass for new hotel on US 75

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
An artist rendering shows plans for a proposed Hampton Inn & Suites along Cornerstone Drive in Sherman.

After leaving the area recently, Hampton Inn wants a spot near the U.S. Highway 75 in Sherman. 

The new hotel, which will stand at four-stories tall, will be located at 305 Cornerstone Drive, near the U.S. Highway 75 corridor. The move by Hampton Inn comes following what was a difficult 18 months for many companies in the hospitality industry as the COVID-19 pandemic stalled much travel across the country.

The new hotel would be latest hotel chain to build near Sherman Town Center, with five other hotels in operation and a sixth under construction to the north.

The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission approved permits and exceptions for a new 83-room Hampton Inn & Suites.

"There are a lot of hotels at that location or just north of it. I don't know of any that are four stories or not," Sherman Director of Development Services Rob Rae said.

Plans for the project call for a 49,000 square foot hotel to be build across about 2.5 acres of land that was recently converted from three lots into one for this project.

The hotel chain requested an exception to the city ordinance related to maximum building height to allow the building to stand at 54.4-feet tall — well above the maximum 45 feet that is allowed under the ordinance.

The new hotel is the second to fly under the Hampton banner in Sherman. Another hotel was built just to the north on Michelle Drive in 1999, but it was recently rebranded as a Comfort Inn.

Nila Patel, who owns the Comfort Inn and the adjacent Quality Sweets said she started work to separate the hotel from the Hampton Inn brand earlier this year, and officially rebranded as a Comfort Inn about six weeks ago.

Patel said she would like the commission to enforce the rule about building height for the new Hampton Inn, noting that none of the other hotels required height exceptions. By comparison, the Comfort Inn and Quality Suites are three stories and two stories, by comparison.

Members of the commission raised concerns that the building's height could be a liability with regard to fire control. Multiple members asked if Sherman's current fire equipment could reach a fourth-story fire if something were to occur.

"I have the same concerns that the gentleman just stated, as well as what Rob said," Patel said. "There are no four-story hotels in that area."

Rae received a text message confirmation from the city fire marshal that the city's equipment could reach at least four stories from a proper fire lane. Rae added that four-story buildings do exist in Sherman, but are mostly centralized near the central business district where the maximum height is six stories.

Commission member Shawn Davis asked if it would be possible to instead use a wider foot print for the hotel that was shorter and fell within the city's requirements.

Ram said the proposed building is a prototype design and floor plan that is currently being used by the hotel chain.

Other concerns that were raised included questions on if the hotel would affect drainage in nearby neighborhoods, however commission members noted that the developer would have to provide a drainage plan that includes mitigation that would not impact neighboring uses.

When put to a vote, the commission voted unanimously in favor of the request.